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The revision of the French bioethics law and the questions it raises for the future of funding for egg freezing

Published:December 08, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbmo.2021.12.002

      Abstract

      After two years of parliamentary discussion, Emmanuel Macron's government in France enacted the new bioethics law. What stands out in the revision of the bioethics law is the decision to offer partial reimbursement of the clinical procedure costs of ‘non-medical’ egg freezing; making France the first country in the world to do this. Our contention in this brief commentary is that the recent change in the French law presents an opportunity to reflect on the provision of public funding for egg freezing, including for what reasons funding is justifiable. The medical/non-medical distinction is used to distribute funding for egg freezing in many jurisdictions, worldwide. However, under the revised French bioethics law, this is the first instance where, for the purpose of determining eligibility for funding, the reason for egg freezing is irrelevant as public funding is available for both medical and non-medical egg freezing. This challenges the justification of using the medical/non-medical distinction within funding policies and prompts further consideration about whether this distinction is still relevant to funding decisions.
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